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Mary Tinglof Smith; Headed School Board

February 08, 1990

Mary Tinglof Smith, former president of the Los Angeles Board of Education and an early proponent of school desegregation in the city, has died in Sun City.

Her stepdaughter, Stephanie Moseley, said that the one-time candidate for the City Council, who lost that race to Paul Lamport in 1965, was 81 when she died last Friday.

Along with Georgiana Hardy and Ralph Richardson, she was considered a liberal member of the board at a time when many schools in the city were entirely black, Latino or Anglo. The three fought for integregation before it was ordered by the courts.

Mrs. Tinglof Smith was first elected to the board in 1957 and reelected four years later. She served as president from 1962-63 and then resigned in 1965 after marrying J. Richard Smith, an assistant superintendent in charge of adult education for the school system. (A statute in the state Education Code prohibited a board member from being married to a school employee.)

Her first marriage, to attorney Birger O. Tinglof, ended in divorce in 1964. After her second marriage, she joined the staff of the National Urban League, Western Regional Office. Smith died in 1982, seven years after moving with his wife to a retirement home in Sun City.

Mrs. Tinglof Smith held a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a master's from USC and taught briefly after leaving the board.

She also had been a member of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Choral Conductors Guild.

Survivors include a son, Sigvaard, from her first marriage.

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